iPhone Review: Predators

Written by Joe Martin

July 9, 2010 | 10:00

Tags: #action #ipad #ipad-game #iphone #iphone-review #predator

Companies: #apple #chillingo

The Predator franchise has a spotty history when it comes to videogames, ranging from the giddy and gory heights of the original AVP to the abominable lows of Concrete Jungle on the PS2. So, our hopes weren’t high for the iPhone game based on the new Adrian Brody movie, Predators.

As it turns out, that’s just as well too. Predators isn’t actually a bad game, but it’d be a stretch to say that it’s a really good one. The Appstore is practically overflowing with arcade survival games these days and though Predators is functional and fun, it doesn’t really stand out all that much.

Predators on the iPhone is a fairly predictable affair, essentially a mission based survival game of the arcade variety. Each mission is slightly different, but the basic premise is always the same – as a lone Predator you have to prove your worth by besting armed humans. The specific objectives vary each time, so sometimes it’s a matter of surviving for X amount of time and sometimes it’s about scoring certain types of kills, but the underlying gameplay is always the same.
iPhone Review: Predators
Heads, you lose

The controls are simple and intuitive, with the overdrawn tutorial levels (each of which involves killing at least 15 baddies) leading you in slowly. Movement is handled by a virtual D-Pad on the left, while attacking and blocking is done with A and B buttons on the right. On top of that, you’ve got access to most of the Predator’s signature abilities – a limited-use cloak that disables if you go near water, a variety of weaponry and so on.

Gameplay unfortunately veers away from the basic idea of what a Predator is – you’re more a standard hack-and-slasher than an actual hunter, but that’s par for the course in Predator games. You can use your cloak for basic stealth tactics, but the Predator is essentially a juggernaut of destruction, rather than a careful and honourable foe. It’s a shame, but not unexpected.

Predators is also one of the gorier games we’ve seen on the Appstore, though it’s still far from graphic. Combos and grab attacks against weaker enemies see you ripping them in half or removing their skulls in as much detail as the engine can manage. That’s not much, but it’s definitely above the likes of Bookworm Deluxe.

iPhone Review: Predators
Predators are colourblind, honestly

There is a certain depth and appeal to Predators’ gameplay, especially when it comes to prioritising certain targets (kill the snipers first) and deciding how to kill them. The more powerful attacks are the slowest and stopping to collect Honour Points, which are used for weapon upgrades, by collecting trophies can leave you vulnerable. By the time you’ve figured most of that out though, you’ll likely be bored with Predators – and the game doesn’t do itself any favour with the brevity and repetitiveness of the missions.

Verdict: Predators on the iPhone is a competent little action game, but it can take a while to get into and ultimately can’t compete with the more immediately fun shooters. It’s worth picking up if you’re a big fan of the films, but otherwise you’d be best off looking at the better known dual-stick shooters for your mobile gaming fix.

Predators is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch. Get it from the Appstore for $2.99 / £1.99.
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